Europe was the only region with an increase in COVID-19 cases last week with a 7 per cent rise, according to the World Health Organization.
Central Europe in particular has seen a renewed surge of COVID cases in recent days in countries with low vaccination rates.
In Poland, the government’s health minister has warned that the country is facing an explosion of coronavirus cases that may need drastic action after recording more than 5,000 daily new infections for the first time since May. The weekly increases in the country on Tuesday and Wednesday reached 85 and 100 per cent.
The minister also said that the current coronavirus restrictions, including inspections of whether face masks are being worn on public transport, will be subject to tougher enforcement.
‘The gap is narrowing’ warns UK’s health secretary
While in the UK millions have been urged to get their booster jabs as warnings went out that new COVID cases could hit 100,000 a day this winter.
“We cannot be complacent when COVID-19 remains such a potent threat. Ever since our phenomenal vaccine program began last winter, we’ve been in a race – a race between the vaccine and the virus,” said UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid
“Although we’re ahead in that race, the gap is narrowing. We’ve come so far, thanks to the efforts of so many, but with winter ahead, we can’t blow it now,” he added.
Masks will be compulsory indoors in the Czech Republic
The Czech government is one of several European countries that is tightening anti-COVID measures as case numbers rise.
The death toll is also rising with 51 people dying of COVID-19 in the last seven days, compared to 44 deaths in the month of September.
Czech Health Minister Adam Vojtech announced that from October 25 it will be compulsory to wear FFP2 masks in all indoor areas, including workplaces. As of November 1, restaurants will have to verify guests’ health status.
Lithuania close to daily record
Mindaugas Stankunas, from the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, told Euronews that Lithuania was close to their daily record of COVID-19 cases.
“The main challenge is that our hospitals are becoming full of COVID-19 patients, and we have a big problem in providing other healthcare services for patients with other health problems,” Stankunas said.
He added that the main problem was low vaccination rates amid a “high level of fake news”.